Tri-County attackman Chace Mechlinski isn’t one to pass up a good opportunity.
Called up to starting status after a teammate traded lacrosse practice for driver’s ed, the sophomore’s performance so far has been anything but second-string.
After a pair of middling starts against Blackstone Valley and Medway, Mechlinski has settled into the new role quite nicely, with seven goals and six assists over the past week.
“He has come out firing, he’s doing everything right,” said Tri-County coach Matt Murphy.
Going into halftime in Tri-County's game against Upper Cape Tech last Monday, the Cougars were trailing 5-1. Mechlinski drove in a pair to cut the deficit to two.
He scored another pair later in the game, including the game-winner to give his team the 8-7 victory.
“He was huge in that game,” Murphy said. “He was in on seven of the eight goals.”
After a 3-3 tie against Cape Cod Tech on Wednesday, Mechlinski netted a goal to take the lead, and assisted on another to extend it just 31 seconds later. He scored the Cougars’ eighth goal of the contest and assisted the ninth, making his mark in the 10-5 win.
Mechlinski contributed to an astounding 13 of the Cougar’s 18 goals on the week, a feat Murphy attributes to his high lax I.Q.
“When he doesn’t have the ball, he’s always in the right place. When he does have the ball and he’s got a one-on-one, he’s able to recognize when the defenseman doesn’t have help,” Murphy said. “He’s playing very smart lacrosse and it’s netting a very positive result.”
After the departure of last season’s top scorer Mike Cavanaugh (74 goals), the Cougars had a hole to fill. Despite his youth, Mechlinski is demonstrating the aptitude necessary to fill that role.
What’s more, Murphy said Mechlinski has the intangibles that separate the good players from the great ones.
“He’s a born leader, he does an excellent job, and he’s not afraid to step up to the older guys when they make a mistake,” he said. “He’s a good young leader on the team.”
Mechlinski now has 12 goals and nine assists on the season. Expect that number to grow handily by season’s end.
Needham's Stenberg hits high mark
Needham attackman William Stenberg recently achieved a career milestone that few of his peers can lay claim to — 250 points. And he did it in just his junior season.
“He’s definitely a prolific scorer, he’s very creative,” said Needham coach David Wainwright. “I describe him as sort of a backyard style of creativity, he’s unconventional. He’s a classic finisher in my eyes.”
Stenberg scored five goals and assisted on 10 more over two games this past week, bringing his season haul to 31 goals and 35 assists.
Last season, his numbers were skewed in favor of scoring. After some adjustments to his game he’s now sitting at a near-even offensive split, which has been a boon for the whole team.
“When he was a sophomore he was heavier in goals and less with assists,” Wainwright said. “He’s adapted his game and made everyone around him better.”
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